Fahim Saleh murder: Arrested Haspil to be taken to court

The New York Police Department said Tyrese Haspil stole a huge amount of money of Fahim. The investigators, however, have not clarified whether that was the only reason behind the murder

Tyrese Haspil, the suspect in the murder of Fahim Saleh is led by New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers, in the Manhattan Borough of New York City, New York, US, on 17 July 2020
Tyrese Haspil, the suspect in the murder of Fahim Saleh is led by New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers, in the Manhattan Borough of New York City, New York, US, on 17 July 2020Reuters

The arrested 21-year-old Tyrese Haspil will be taken to court by Friday midnight (New York time) on charges of involvement in the murder of Fahim Saleh, co-founder of the ride-sharing company Pathao.

New York police has brought second degree murder charges against Haspil, who worked as a personal assistant of Fahim Saleh, a Bangladeshi American tech entrepreneur millionaire, whose body was found decapitated and dismembered in his 2.5 million dollar flat in Manhattan.

Police arrested Haspil within 72 hours of the gruesome crime.

The NYPD (New York Police Department) said Tyrese Haspil stole a huge amount of money from Fahim. The investigators, however, have not clarified whether that was the only reason behind the murder.

A police source said Haspil was not cooperating with them during primary investigations.

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He looked very normal as he walked along with the police. A lawyer will represent Haspil during the video hearing, said Eyewitness News of New York.

Fahim Saleh hadn't filed any case against Haspil. Instead he gave him a chance to repay the money in installments, according to evidence found by investigators.

Police said arrested Tyrese Haspil had grown up in Brooklyn and studied at Hofstra University, New York. He became first in a national competition on web designing when he was a student of Valley Stream High School, Long Island. He started working with Fahim Saleh when he was 16 years old. Haspil has a company of his own as well.

Police discovered all this on Fahim’s mobile phone messages.

Fahim Saleh hadn't filed any case against Haspil. Instead he gave him a chance to repay the money in installments, according to evidence found by investigators.

It had become easier for the police to identify Haspil from his credit card transactions.

Fahim Saleh used to live alone in his upscale flat. Tyrese Haspil was well aware of Fahim's routine.

He started living in an expensive flat on Houston Street, several blocks away from Fahim Saleh’s flat. The monthly rent of such flats is around $15,000. CCTV footage from 15 July showed Haspil walking along Crosby Street, within a mile of the crime scene. He was seen leaving the flat with a woman around 12:30pm on the day.

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NYPD detained Haspil from that flat on the morning of 17 July. Fahim Saleh was murdered on 13 July afternoon. Haspil used Fahim’s credit card to shop just after the murder. CCTV footage from the shop showed Haspil entering and leaving. He paid his transport with Fahim’s credit card as well.

NYPD chief of detectives Rodney Harrison, in a press briefing, praised his colleagues for making the arrest so quickly.

Earlier, NYPD sources said the detained person was taken to a hospital for a mental checkup as he was talking incoherently during police quizzing.

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A source said the professional killers sometimes act mentally ill after their detention, hoping for an easier trial.

An NYPD crime department officer said according to protocol a detained person has to be taken for a mental checkup to a psychiatrist after which the police can arrest him formally if investigations ascertain his involvement in the crime. The process takes time.

Fahim Saleh's family urged NYPD to find the "evil killer" who dismembered him and fled the bloody scene. They also requested the media to respect Fahim's privacy at this critical time, in a statement issued on 16 July.

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The family, in the statement, also asked the newsmen not to contact them or Fahim’s relatives and friends.

"Fahim is more than what you are reading. He is so much more. His brilliant and innovative mind took everyone who was a part of his world on a journey and he made sure never to leave anyone behind.

"Fahim found success at an early age and built on it year after year, while remaining grounded and committed to helping others.

"No matter what he did, he did it while thinking of the greater good and his family. His parents and his sisters were his light and he was theirs.

"There are no words or actions to provide any of us comfort except the capture of the person who exhibited nothing short of evil upon our loved one."

However, his family members have not issued any statement as yet after the arrest Tyrese Haspil.

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The killer was thoroughly professional while committing the grisly murder and intended to remove all evidence from the scene so that it looked like nothing happened there, police suspect.

The surveillance video from the building's lobby showed the suspected killer entering the elevator with Saleh around 1:40pm on Monday.

The killer was reportedly dressed in all black and carried a bag.

The CCTV footage showed Saleh using a key fob to access the seventh floor as the suspect pretended to press a button for another level, sources said.

Both Saleh and the suspect reportedly exchanged words inside the elevator.

When the young CEO stepped out of the elevator and got into his apartment, the man in black followed him.

The last moment recorded before the doors close is the killer zapping the victim with a Taser.

In the floor plan, an egress staircase is seen across from the elevator in which Fahim Saleh and the killer were.

Footage appeared to show the 33-year-old tech boss being attacked when he got off the elevator, which opens up directly into his apartment.

Saleh's sister found his dismembered body inside his condo around 3:30pm Tuesday after she hadn't heard from him for around a day.

Fahim Saleh was born in 1986. His father Saleh Uddin is from Chattogram and mother is from Noakhali. Fahim studied information systems at Bentley University in the USA.

He became an icon to Bangladeshi youths after opening the ride-sharing service Pathao in 2014. Fahim is an owner of two more ride-sharing companies in Nigeria and Columbia. He extended his business to Indonesia and a few other countries.

* The report has been rewritten in English by Shameem Reza